Monday, June 29, 2009

Jeff Niemann

Lost in the write-up of tonight's Rays/Jays tilt is Jeff Niemann's utter dominance of a really good Jays squad. On the MLB Network' pregame show everyone pretty much agreed Halladay would do all the dominating, and I'm not sure they even mentioned Niemann's name. 

And let's be honest: Niemann, along with Jason Hammel, came into the season out of minor-league options and was competing for the fifth spot in the rotation. This spot, as we all know, was merely being kept warm for David Price, so most observers were not taking Niemann's starting gig too seriously. Niemann is proving them wrong and, with the typical bumps along the way, has claimed his spot on the Big Club's staff.

I'm also a fan of Sonnanstine (whom the Rays sent down) but it's also nice to see former Durham Bull Niemann stay in the rotation and get better with every start. Congrats, Jeff, and keep up the great work!

As an aside, the compa and I attended a Rays/O's double header last year in Baltimore and ran into Jeff's dad at the Babe Ruth museum before the games. He asked about the Durham jersey I was wearing and we talked baseball for a few minutes before parting ways. Very nice guy and a very proud father.

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